Mountain Community Co-op Newsletter
Mountain Community Co-op Newsletter
PO Box 1631, 105 Carter St. firstname.lastname@example.org
Eatonville, WA 98328 360-832-COOP (2667)
- Wednesday, May 11th: Co-op Board Meeting 3pm
- Tuesday, May 17th: ORDERS DUE
- Wednesday, May 18th: Farmer’s Market Vendor Meeting 7pm
- Saturday, May 28th: Farmer’s Market opens
- Tuesday, May 31st: Pick-up orders, 12 7 pm
- Tuesday, June 14th: ORDERS DUE
- Monday, June 27th: Pick-up orders, 12 7 pm
- Tuesday, July 19th: ORDERS DUE
- Monday, Aug 1st: Pick-up orders, 12 7 pm
Buying Club Sale Items and New Items
Many more sale and new items are available; check the Azure sale catalog available at the co-op.
BM082 Muffin Mix, whole wheat, organic, 5 lbs: 5.55
NF026 Country Save Laundry Powder, 40 loads, 5 lbs: 4.65
CO178 Emerald Valley Fresh Salsa with Organic Tomatoes, Medium, 14 oz: 2.25
CE236 Food for Life Ezekial 4:9 Cereal, original, organic, 3 pack: 8.70
JS019 Knudsen Red Raspberry Spritzer, case of 24: 16.45
JS169 Kombucha Wonder Drink, Himalayan Blend, organic, 4 pack: 5.30
CH110 Organic Valley Pepper Jack Cheese, organic, pasteurized, 8oz: 3.00
CO257 Organicville Miso Ginger Vinaigarette, organic, 8 oz: 2.65
HB158 Peelu Dental Chewing Gum, peppermint, 20 pcs: 1.35
Oregon Spice Co., bulk herbs and spices available in 4 oz and 1 lb packages, 12% off
Many thanks to the following folks for their help at the co-op, including:
Franich Farms for helping to host Carla Emery.
Ron Howell for all of his work setting up this year's Farmer's Market (good luck on your new job).
Deb Boston for faithfully meeting the delivery trucks
The Newsletter Crew: Gretchen Jones, Helen Jeanne Puvogel, and Marge Johnson
The Volunteer Coordinating Team: Sally King and Cheryl Dixon
The Buying Club Crew: Kathy Ifft, Steve Pruitt, Elaine Beaudrey, Margaret Franich, The Joyce Family, Debbie Saint, Sara Allison, Linda Nothstien, Debbie Sharpe, Deb Boston, Tony Franich, and Tom Touse (with a special thanks to Kathy Ifft)
The Store Crew: Steve Pruitt, Margaret Franich, David Kopec, Debra Grant, Tim Kilgore, Tom Touse, Jillian Schuyler, Shari Connolly, Barbara Samora, and Emily Robin Pierce
Laura Patten for the Quarterly Report work
Judy Scavone for gardening and yard work
“Healthy Choices”: Board Report by Steve Pruitt, Vice President
Do you ever find yourself giving advice to someone, only to realize later that you were talking to yourself? Or perhaps you complained about someone because they did something offensive, only to realize that you have done the same thing yourself. If “all the world is a stage”, as Shakespeare claims, and “men and women are merely players” who “hold the mirror up to nature” then the Mountain Community Co-op has been visited with a huge challenge to look in the mirror and practice what it preaches: “Make Healthy Choices!”
On April 13th the Board of Directors met to discuss the decision of the landlord to sell the building that the Co-op is renting (and neighboring building which sits on the same city lot). The news comes at an interesting time. The Store has just opened, with considerable investment of time and energy. The Health Department license application is in process, with a new level of investment in merchandise needed when fresh and frozen perishable items can be sold. The Board is in the middle of a visioning process that will be shared with the membership in the fall. Operational policies, procedures, and processes are still in the formative stages. Except for contracted grant services, all current labor is volunteered - with a recruiting and reward system that is still unproven.
While it is not certain that a new owner would mean eviction for the Co-op, the sale of the property will bring change in some form. In Chinese, the word for “opportunity” and “danger” are the same. In Eatonville, the translation has become “temptation”. The Mountain Community Co-op has been offered the “opportunity” to purchase the property that is now for sale. In spite of the above list of challenges already facing the Co-op, the offer is “tempting” for a number of reasons. The location is excellent for our long-term needs, with the second building facing Washington Street. The price and terms are generous, and there is a real potential for the purchase to “pay for itself” with lease agreements for one of the two buildings. The Co-op will possibly face the need to move if the property is sold to someone else. The “dangers” are obvious, as ! the Co-op has taken huge steps to open the Store, and is not fully “on its feet”.
After serious discussion, in an effort to “make healthy choices”, the Board of Directors has taken the following action:
- Authorized a lease to own agreement that gives the Co-op three months to make an informed and healthy decision
- Ordered a full accounting of all operations, with projections of the impact of a purchase on financial stability setting specific criteria as “health indicators” to be reviewed prior to a final decision
- Requested assistance from technical advisors for strategic planning and funding options
- Created a “Task Force” to bring back a full report on the “health indicators” to the May and June Board meetings, along with progress reports on funding and lease options
- Required a “Special Called Membership Meeting” for late June or early July to place a recommendation of one or more options before the Membership for a binding vote
- Directed that the planning and decision-making process be “transparent”, and that Co-op members be invited to participate with comments, as members of the Task Force, and in open Board Meetings in May and June.
There is much to be done in the coming months, and we welcome your input. The Board will consider meeting in the evening in June if there is member interest in attending. If you have questions or comments, or wish to attend Task Force or Board Meetings, contact the Co-op at 360-832-2667, Margaret Franich at 360-832-3395, or Steve Pruitt at 360-832-7787. Help us choose what is healthy for the Co-op and the Community we serve.
Well Done! By Cheryl Dixon and Sally King, Volunteer Coordinators
Thank you to the following people for your twelve (or more) current volunteer hours through the month of April. Your May discount card is waiting for you in the Volunteer Hours Logbook. Thank you for your continued commitment and dedication to our Mountain community Coop.
Margaret Franich Debra Grant
Kathy Ifft Gretchen Jones
Tim Kilgore David Kopec
Emily Robin Pierce Steve Pruitt
Jillian Schuyler Barbara Samora
Tom Touse Whom did we miss?
Progress at the Store by Margaret Franich
In late April we turned in our application for the Health Department license. They will get back to us with any questions, and then we will be able to set up an inspection date. So potentially we could expand to carry bulk, produce, dairy and frozen food within a month or two. We will need more money for inventory, so shop shop shop at your co-op. The more you buy the more funds we have to expand our inventory. Our mark up is small, so we are depending on volume.
Also spread the good news that we now have Natural Foods available in Eatonville. Let us know what you need that is not in the store. We can special order most things. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make our store more appealing or improve our service. Use the suggestion box. This is your store. As a Member you have an equal interest in the success of the co-op. We who work in the store see the store day after day. It is good to have fresh eyes view the store and the service we give. What might we add to improve service to our customers?
Sales have slowed down a bit, so please SHOP AT YOUR FRIENDLY COMMUNITY CO-OP! We have had some days of good sales and some days of slow sales. We are hoping to be open more days a week by the end of May. The delay has to do with getting enough volunteers scheduled. We have had to operate for a while to identify all the store tasks, and now are more able to break down what needs to be done into little or big volunteer chunks. As we progress in developing the volunteer system, we will be able to stay open more days. Watch our ad in the paper, as we will advertise the new hours. We currently we are open Thursday and Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-5, and Sunday 11-5 We are also open other days if we happen to be there, but not on a regular basis.
Our staff is still all volunteer. Our managers usually work at least 9 hours a week. They are Steve Pruitt, Margaret Franich, David Kopec, Debra Grant, and Tim Kilgore. Tim is going into his busy work season, and will need to reduce hours. We would like to train more people to manage, so managers would only need to work 4-5 hours a week. Managing is not hard. It entails knowing how to help people with membership and answer questions about the co-op, knowing vender policies, how to trouble shoot the cash register and generally what needs to be done to open and close the store. It d! oes also entail being there on a scheduled basis and making sure everything is working and looking good in the store. We have two more people who are about to earn there manager “wings”.
Rumor has it that some people are avoiding the store because they don’t want to volunteer. Please come and shop, even if you are not able or interested in volunteering. Purchasing your food and other items at the co-op is an important part of supporting the co-op.
The store is running fairly smoothly, but there is still much work being done to make things flow efficiently and be sustainable. There are a lot of policies and systems that we are working on, and they are getting closer to completion. The ordering system and food stamp application will probably be completed by the time you receive this, thanks to Barbara Samora. And we will soon have our pricing and shelf tags all caught up with each other. Vender policies and volunteer duties are being clearly defined by our experience and should be able to become a sustainable system within the next few months.
Buying Club News
Congratulations! Between regular Azure orders and special orders, our Buying Club purchases were over $4,000 this month. We had 13 new people order from the Buying Club. A big welcome and a big thank you to all members who help to make the buying club a success by ordering. And a triple thank you to Kathy Ifft, Steve Pruitt, Elaine Beaudrey, Margaret Franich, The Joyce Family, Debbie Saint, Sara Allison, Linda Nothstien, Debbie Sharpe, Deb Boston, Tony Franich, and Tom Touse who helped get the delivery from your order form to your car this month.
Please do make an effort to pick up your order as soon as possible certainly within a week especially if you have ordered frozen or refrigerated items. If Monday does not work for you, you can write on your order for us to call you on Saturday when it is ready. Then we’ll have your order ready for you to pick up Saturday late afternoon or Sunday. If you do not think you can pick up your order on time, please pay for the order within a few days of delivery. You may pre-pay if you like.
SPLITS: We have a few items to split: carob chips (unsweetened), raisins, fiesta bean mix, and sprouting seed mix.
If you want one of the split items, write on your order form:
“SPLIT Name Of Item # of pounds you want”
If you have items you would like to split, we can get it into the newsletter if you have the info to the co-op by the first Friday of the month.
Calling All Farmers… and People Who Eat!
The rapidly growing Eatonville Farmer’s Market opens a new season on Saturday, May 28th. We have a great new location on Washington Street next to the Rainier Group Building. The Farmer’s Market will be open twice a month on the second and fourth Saturday through October. Drop by between 10am and 3pm and see what we have to offer!
Vendors are invited to an organizational meeting on Wednesday, May 18th at 7pm at the Co-op (105 Carter Street) in Eatonville. Please plan to attend if you have produce, flowers, crafts, or other locally made products you would like to sell. Call Steve Pruitt (360-832-7787) if you are interested in being a vendor but are unable to attend, or if you have questions prior to the meeting.
A Night with Carla Emery by Margaret Franich
Fifty people were thrilled to gather together to hear Carla Emery speak. She explained how she came to write her first book in the hopes to save the knowledge of homesteading-type ideas that are being lost in the modern age. Most of this knowledge was passed from generation to generation and not typically written down. With the old people passing on and the young people buying everything from the store, the old ways of doing things would soon be lost. So began the Encyclopedia of Country Living. She explained that petroleum will run out sooner or later and will become very expensive. Carla had great advice for the young people of today also, especially about staying debt-free.
Carla has a deep reverence for life. She talked about how she gardens, sharing her own special style and encouraging others to develop what works for them. She also says, “Don’t let the lack of equipment stop you.” A number 2 shovel (which Tony said can be purchased from Sears with a lifetime guarantee) and a few simple hand tools can get you started one foot at a time.
At one point, Steve Pruitt asked the crowd if we were to have Carla come again next year, would they come again and bring a friend? Many hands went up. I would like to see her do a talk for the high school students if she comes again. She also does writing workshops for home school groups; if any of you know of a group that would like to have her do a program, we could get her to stay for a day or two and delight us all.
So it’s spring, and I wish you all happy gardening and a happy debt-free life.
By the way (this has nothing to do with Carla except that I know if she were with me she would have been as excited as I was), the other day there was a customer who came into the co-op who was driving a vehicle that was running on used restaurant grease. Straight filtered used grease. WOW! Imagine that, right here in little old Eatonville.
- Looking for shelving: The co-op is looking for used shelves to be donated or lent for the used bookstore in Morton. Books donated to the co-op for the past couple of years that have not been sold during co-op fundraisers will find a new home at the Bean Tree Coffee House. The co-op will earn a percentage of the sales. Shelves are needed before sales can begin.
Art co-op: An art co-op may be forming in the area, featuring local artists and creators of artisan-quality handmade items. Anyone interested can contact the Mountain Community Co-op, which will pass on the info to organizer Steve Bonzer.
- Home protection during fire season: Folks looking to protect their places during fire season can find water tanks on sale at Del’s Farm Supply.
- Squirrel Bar recipe: People have been inquiring about a recipe for squirrel bars; we tracked one down from the Bellingham co-op, and can be obtained at the co-op store. Most of the ingredients for these treats are currently available at the co-op.
- Freecycle: Do you own something you no longer need? Would getting rid of it mean a trip to the dump? Other folks may be interested in it, saving landfill space and recycling resources. Visit freecycle at: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/freecyclepiercecountywashington/
If you have anything you would like to submit such as comments, questions, inspirational quotes, recipes, split requests, etc., please send an email to:
Mountain Community Co-Op
PO Box 1631
Eatonville, WA 98328
Please help to keep the newsletter active!